Simine Vazire: Towards a More Self-Correcting Science

Science enjoys a great deal of public trust in part because we have a reputation for prioritizing self-correction. We teach our students that science is self-correcting, and we often repeat this when defending ourselves against critics. But what is the evidence that we really do prioritize self-correction? The prevalence of false positive findings in our top journals suggests we need better self-correction mechanisms.

What would the scientific community look like if we truly put self-correction first? First, to make errors easier to detect and correct, we would do science transparently. This is arguable one of the hallmarks of science – we should be committed to giving our critics all the ammunition they need to find our errors. Second, we would cultivate an environment where correction is valued. This would mean rewarding skepticism and criticism, rather than celebrating status and eminence.

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Simine Vazire

Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California at Davis

Simine Vazire is a faculty member in the psychology department at UC Davis. She studies meta-science and research methods/practices, as well as personality psychology and self-knowledge. Vazire received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2000 and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. She has been an editor at several journals, including Editor in Chief of Social Psychological and Personality Science from 2015 to 2019 and founding co-senior editor of the open access journal Collabra: Psychology.

Together with Brian Nosek, Vazire founded the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS).

She served as the first president of SIPS and continues to serve on the executive committee. She also serves on the board of PLOS and BITSS and was a member of the executive committee of the Association for Psychological Science. She was awarded the Leamer-Rosenthal prize for open social science from BITSS, and the APA’s distinguished scientific award for early career contribution to psychology.